Five Ways to Automate Your Day One Journal with TextExpander | Day One Blog

Josh Ginter on the Day One Blog:

With TextExpander’s potential in mind, the app becomes a natural fit for creating consistency, structure, and organization inside Day One. I have a plethora of quick Day One-specific snippets to help track fitness, time, reviews, and other personal bits of information I’ll want to draw on again in the future.

Here are five ways (and then some) to use TextExpander to make short work of journal templates in Day One.

There seems to be a bit of a theme here today, eh? If you use Day One like I do, using TextExpander to help you journal is a no brainer. I’ve found that I don’t do amazing things every day that make me want to write about them, but some of these snippets help me write things I’ll then be able to look back on fondly.

Automating Deeper With Keyboard Maestro | Six Colors

Jason Snell on Six Colors:

I write a lot about automating repetitive computer tasks, but most of my history with automation has involved using AppleScript (and later, Automator) to control applications. The fact is, many Mac apps—and more every day!—aren’t really accessible via scripting interfaces. It’s been a black hole of automation for me, a no-go zone, but a little while ago I decided I was wasting time with some of the tasks I perform every week and I was going to dive in and take control of the situation, scripting be damned.

My tool of choice was Keyboard Maestro, which I bought to remap a bunch of keystrokes for my weird clicky keyboard. It’s an impossibly powerful utility that, among other things, lets you automate user-interface actions.

I love posts like this. There are so many things you do over and over, which end up taking up a lot of time. Thankfully there are increasingly more ways to automate all those tasks.

A Simple Use of CSS Grid

You might’ve heard of CSS Grid, now let’s get our feet wet

You might’ve heard awesome people like Rachel Andrew and Jen Simmons advocating for the use of CSS Grid. If you haven’t, I recommend you follow Jen and Rachel on Twitter. You should watch this talk, and this one too.

But, you might also feel that you don’t know where to get started. How do you learn it? Well, Rachel has made this great series of screencasts on Grid. But once you know some of the basics, it may be difficult to decide where to use it. Well, I was playing around the other day, and came across a pretty simple and easy example.

Let’s say you want two columns. I was working on basic two column layout for my resume on my site. The layout for that is essentially this:

Pretty simple right? A main column and a sidebar.

Till now, we’ve used hacks using Float and even Flexbox to make this layout possible. Funnily enough, even Flexbox isn’t the ideal solution for this layout, it’s actually Grid. Using Flexbox, you’d have to code it up something like this:

<div class="wrapper">
  <section class="main-column">
    Your content here.
  </section>

  <aside class="sidebar">
    Your sidebar content here.
  </aside>
</div>

And the CSS would be something like this:

.wrapper {
  display: flex;
}

.main-column {
  width: 70%;
  /* Let's get around the box-model and use padding */
  padding-right: 2rem;
}

.sidebar {
  width: 30%;
}

This is the barebones stuff. This solution needs 10 lines of code for the basics of our layout. Now let’s do it with Grid with 3 lines.

.wrapper {
  display: grid;
  grid-template-columns: 70% 30%;
  grid-gap: 2rem;
}

That’s it. Grid looks intimidating, but it’s simplicity and versatility will become an amazing tool for us. Now, since Grid’s support is behind browser flags right now, let’s rewrite this with a fallback.

/* If the browser supports Grid, it'll use this */
@supports (display: grid) {
  .wrapper {
    display: grid;
    grid-template-columns: 70% 30%;
    grid-gap: 2rem;
  }
}

/* If the browser does not support Grid, it'll use this */
@supports not (display: grid) {
  .wrapper {
    display: flex;
  }

  .main-column {
    width: 70%;
    padding-right: 2rem;
  }

  .sidebar {
    width: 30%;
  }
}

Pretty cool huh? If you have any questions or would like to discuss it further, send me an email.

In an 8-Hour Day, the Average Worker Is Productive for This Many Hours | Inc.com

Melanie Curtin for Inc.com:

In the late 18th century, 10-16 hour workdays were normal because factories “needed” to be run 24/7. When it became clear that such long days were both brutal and unsustainable, leaders like Welsh activist Robert Owen advocated for shorter workdays. In 1817, his slogan became: “Eight hours labour, eight hours recreation, eight hours rest.”

Now, the workday is ripe for another disruption. This is due in part to research that suggests that in an 8-hour day, the average worker is only productive for 2 hours and 53 minutes.

This doesn’t surprise me. Most people have many unproductive meetings that are disguised as work, but aren’t really work. This is why companies who value what a person does, instead of how long their butt is in a seat, are better equipped for the future.

To me, the eight hour requirement from most companies doesn’t make sense when you need people’s brains to output. I’m hard pressed to think of any job where it makes sense. Companies like to call their employees “assets” or “resources”, but at the end of the day are only human. Humans have bad days, they say things they don’t mean, they worry, they mourn. It’s stupid for companies to expect machine-like results from beings who are everything but.

Browser Support for Evergreen Websites by Rachel Andrew

Rachel Andrew:

If I built a site today that uses shape-outside to curve text around an image, Firefox users are going to see squared off text around that floated image. Chrome users will get the curved shape. As Firefox are currently implementing Shapes, at some point in the near future Firefox users will find their browser has updated underneath them, my website will suddenly look that little bit more finessed to them, yet I won’t have shipped any code.

Rachel makes an excellent point. Unfortunately, we sometimes get scared to use CSS that isn’t widely supported yet. Even worse, some depend on frameworks and their fallbacks for CSS. It’s completely understandable, the web is moving so fast! But I think Rachel’s advice is sound:

Also, remember that you don’t need to throw everything out and only use a very new layout method such as Grid or even Flexbox. Start small, finesse your forms or navigation with these methods, add some little touches. Not every site needs all the new shiny throwing at it, most will benefit from some elements from newer specifications. You can learn just as much about Grid by using it to tighten up a floated UI, as you can by turning your whole site over to it.

I recently started to play around with Grid, and using @supports allows me to define a Flexbox fallback that most people won’t even notice working under the hood. We might not know about all the new stuff, but I think pushing our comfort zone will only lead to better things.

Sync Two Google Calendars with Zapier

Stop pulling your hair out, let’s learn how to merge calendars

So here’s the problem: you’ve got a personal calendar and a work calendar, but you want both to be in sync. Googling how to do this is practically useless. Mostly, you’ll find articles or support posts on how you should share the calendars with each other, which doesn’t accomplish what I wanted. I wanted all events synced on both calendars so:

  1. I didn’t have to manually duplicate events to the other calendar.
  2. People checking my work or personal calendar had an accurate representation of my availability.

Finally I came across this video, and turns out that what I wanted to do was merge two calendars. I’m now in calendar bliss. When I create an event in my personal calendar, that event is created in my work calendar and vice versa. The great thing is, because this works with Zapier, you have more options that just Google calendar if you need them.

The Thing about Trucks by Rob Rhyne

Rob Rhyne explains why he’d take his Mac if he could only take one device with him:

My thinking goes like this: I can borrow someone else’s phone if I need to make a call, but I want my Mac if I need to do any sort of deep thinking. This feeling of personalization runs deep in a desktop operating system. It’s much more than wallpaper, or color schemes. My Mac is loaded with software and utilities that I have written custom for my specific use. I’m not talking about general software development, but scripting, and automation which ease my everyday tasks.

Rob nails it by saying that the iPad-only community seems to be filled with dogma. I personally find myself in a middle ground. I do a lot with iOSI publish most articles on this site with iOS, in fact—but there are things that I like doing on my Mac. Things I can’t do on iOS by design. As with most situations, do what works best for you.